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Mobile phone connectivity becomes seaworthy
Posted: 28-Feb-2005 [Source: Ericsson]

[Ericsson and Norweigan based Maritime Communications Partner to deliver a GSM network enabling mobile phone connectivity onboard cruise ships and ferries all over the world, providing global coverage through leading suppliers of maritime satellite services. ]

Ericsson and Norwegian based Maritime Communications Partner (MCP), have signed a contract for the delivery of a GSM network to enable mobile communication at sea. Under the contract, Ericsson will supply a complete network solution, including core and radio equipment.

Using Ericsson's GSM technology, MCP will be able to offer mobile phone connectivity onboard cruise ships and ferries all over the world, providing global coverage through leading suppliers of maritime satellite services. The ships will have radio base stations on board, and communication will be secured through a satellite link to the core network on shore. Fax, internet and data services are also offered, as well as value added services for onboard marketing, promotions and information.

"We are very excited to take this technological step together with Ericsson," said Trygve Sten Gustavsen, CEO at Maritime Communications Partner. "As the first global maritime operator in the telecommunications industry, we are happy to offer our customers high quality services while at sea based upon Ericsson's GSM network solution. This contract will definitely leverage our ambitions on the international scene."

So far, MCP has signed contracts with European ferry companies, Stena Line, DFDS and is in negotiations with additional ferry companies and cruise lines. Following a test phase, the services are operation secure, constituting a lucrative business opportunity also for the ferry operators.

"We are very pleased to work closely with MCP, expanding the possibilities of communication at sea for people all over the world. It has always been our driving force to enable people to communicate anywhere anytime, and that includes when they are at sea. This agreement proves the competitiveness and flexibility of Ericsson's GSM network solutions, even in a maritime context", said Johan Bergendahl, Vice President Marketing at Ericsson.

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